On his way to earning the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America that a young man can earn, Evan James helped St. Francis Xavier Catholic School and in so doing won the 2012 Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award for the Istrouma Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Only about 5 percent of all Boy Scouts earn the Eagle rank.

To earn it, a Scout must progress through six ranks, serve in a leadership position within his troop, provide service to the community and earn a minimum of 21 merit badges, of which 12 — in such areas as finance, family, citizenship and personal fitness — are required.

A Scout must also plan, develop and give leadership to a service project for any religious organization, school or community.

Evan R. James

AGE: 16

SCHOOL: Catholic High School, sophomore

TROOP: 103


SPONSOR: Knights of Columbus Council 9692

EAGLE PROJECT: After learning St. Francis Xavier Catholic School, the only predominantly African-American Catholic school in the Baton Rouge area, had begun experiencing enrollment challenges in 2011, James sought to help the school grounds become more appealing to potential new students and their families. He led the building of four large outdoor flower boxes, painted them in bright versions of the school colors of blue and yellow and with the letters “SFX” prominent on the long sides. The school plans to plant knockout roses in its new boxes in the spring.

EXTRA: James is a member of St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church, plays alto saxophone in the Catholic High School Marching Band and is a member of Elan Cotillion. With the Boy Scouts, he has earned 84 merit badges (of a possible 130), and completed National Youth Leadership Training. He attended the 2010 National Boy Scout Centennial Jamboree at Ft. A.P. Hill in Virginia, as well as four weeklong summer camps and five winter camps, totaling nearly 100 nights of outdoor camping, and nearly 150 hours of community service.

PARENTS: Eddie and Lori James

Huynh is cadet of the year

Cadet Command Sgt. Derek Huynh of Broadmoor High School has won the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Leadership and Education and Training II Cadet of the Year Board Award.

He is the Buccaneer Battalion’s senior noncommissioned officer for the Broadmoor High cadet corps, a member of the Drill Team and Color Guard and the Saber Team commander.

Hayes wins essay contest

Kierstin Hayes, 17, a senior at Christian Life Academy, won the Sons of the American Revolution Essay Contest, for which she receives $1,000 and has her essay, “Thomas Jefferson’s Role and Influence on the Declaration of Independence,” entered in state competition.

Hayes is president of her senior class and captain of the varsity cheerleading squad. Her goal is to attend medical school and become a pediatrician. She is the daughter of Wendell and Caprice Hayes.

Young earns Mitchell Award

Brennon Young has received the General Billy Mitchell Award from Louisiana Wing Civil Air Patrol Commander Col. Cecil A. Scarbrough.

With this award also comes a promotion from cadet to cadet second lieutenant, moving Young from the enlisted phase of the cadet program to the officer phase.

To earn this award, cadets must pass a series of leadership, aerospace and physical fitness tests and attend moral leadership training for each achievement from cadet airman basic through cadet chief master sergeant. In addition, cadets must attend a military-style encampment and have maintained active membership in the Civil Air Patrol for at least 18 months.

Bienville seeking essays

Bienville House Center for Peace & Justice is seeking entries for its Reich Henderson Writing Competition, which is open to Louisiana 11th-graders.

To enter, a student should write an essay describing any of the student’s activities that have helped people in need. Contest organizers want to hear about the motivation for such activities, feelings about the work as well as the actual experiences and how they may have differed from expectation and what lessons were learned in the process. Essays should be no longer than 1,000 words.

Entries must include a certification form signed by the student’s English/language arts teacher. Visit http://www.bienvillehousecenter.org/ to download the form.

The student’s name, phone number and email address, if available, should be in the top left corner of the essay. Email essays as Word documents or PDF format to bienvillehousecenter@gmail.com or mail to Bienville House Center for Peace & Justice, P.O. Box 4363, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.

The entry deadline is April 15. First prize is $250. Second prize is $150. Third prize is $100.

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